The number of new cases is surging around the globe and governments are weighing options to face it.
Iran has reported its highest daily number of infections in nearly a month, with cases on Sunday exceeding 2,600, according to the country’s health ministry.
The death toll in Latin America from the novel coronavirus has surpassed 200,000, a Reuters tally showed, after Peru reported another 191 deaths from the pandemic.
The Philippines has reported 5,032 additional coronavirus infections, its largest single-day increase on record, taking the country’s confirmed cases to 103,185.
Indian Interior Minister Amit Shah has announced that he tested positive for the new coronavirus and was hospitalised.
- More than 17.79 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the new coronavirus. Almost 10.5 million patients have recovered and more than 684,000 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Here are the latest updates:
Sunday, August 2
23:11 GMT – Greece reports 75 new coronavirus cases, two deaths
Greek health authorities have announced 75 new coronavirus cases – four of them from international arrivals – and two deaths over the past 24 hours, according to AP news agency.
The total number of cases has risen to 4,662, with 208 deaths. Twelve patients are on ventilators, while 128 have exited intensive care units.
Sunday’s data are less alarming than Saturday’s 110 new cases – the fourth largest daily tally and largest since April – but authorities are stepping up inspections, especially at holiday hotspots, where people have started gathering after a very slow start to the tourist season.
20:30 GMT – Cyprus introduces coronavirus testing for Greek arrivals
Cyprus will introduce compulsory testing for all arrivals from Greece from August. 6, health authorities have announced, after a spike in coronavirus infections in Greece over the past week.
The health ministry said any travellers from Greece would be required to show a negative PCR test conducted within 72 hours of travel to Cyprus. Cypriots and permanent residents of Cyprus could opt for a test at airports upon their arrival.
The eastern Mediterranean island is thought to be one of the first countries to introduce the tests on arrivals from Greece since the lockdown eased. Greece still displays significantly lower infection rates than other European countries, with 4,477 cases and 206 deaths as of Sunday.
20:05 GMT – France to push for rights sanctions in EU recovery plan
France will push for financial sanctions under the EU’s 750 billion euro ($880 billion) coronavirus recovery fund against states that undermine fundamental human rights, its junior European affairs minister told the Financial Times newspaper.
“(We can’t tell) French, Polish, Hungarian and European citizens that (we) can have financial solidarity in Europe and not care how the basic rules of democracy, free media, and equal rights are respected,” Clement Beaune said in an interview published on Sunday.
The European Union is struggling to respond to what many in western Europe see as creeping authoritarianism on its eastern flank.
The European Commission, EU lawmakers and activists have said freedoms are notably under threat in Poland and Hungary.
Beaune told the newspaper that the EU must be tougher on breaches by those countries.
19:20 GMT – Major incident declared in British city of Manchester to tackle coronavirus
A major incident has been declared in the Manchester area of Britain to help tackle the rising number of coronavirus cases, local media reported an official as saying.
“Although the council and partner organisations have been working closely to tackle the impacts of the pandemic since early this year, declaring a major incident means we can ramp this up further,” the Leader of Manchester City Council Richard Leese said in the Manchester Evening News.
“It allows the establishment of a central command structure to oversee the response and enables agencies involved to draw on extra resources.”
18:50 GMT – Is Turkmenistan really coronavirus-free?
Turkmenistan is one of a handful of countries that has not reported a single coronavirus case during the global pandemic. Despite neighbouring Central Asian countries including Iran, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan all battling COVID-19, Turkmenistan has so far only acknowledged the presence of pneumonia.
Some critics are doubtful of the government’s coronavirus-free claim and say its continued denial is risking the health of Turkmen citizens. Human rights advocates outside of Turkmenistan allege that medical workers have been silenced when it comes to the pandemic.
The country, which has in the past been criticised for its extreme lack of transparency, has been taking precautions for disease prevention. The government temporarily stopped train services, shut down malls and restaurants, established a COVID-19 information hotline, and is asking the public to wear masks.
In mid-July, a health advisory team from the World Health Organization was allowed to visit Turkmenistan. They did not question the government’s health data, but instead provided recommendations to enforce public health measures “as if COVID-19 was circulating” there.
Find out more here.
18:40 GMT – Is the world facing a second coronavirus wave?
Just a few weeks ago, many countries thought they had the coronavirus under control as the number of cases was falling and the curve of infections flattening.
Governments started lifting restrictions and reopening their economies. Some were even praised for their successes and many people resumed their daily lives. But that optimism has not lasted. A sudden record number of infections is being reported in many countries.
Some call it a resurgence, others a comeback. And scientists are debating how to identify and define what a “second wave” is.
The World Health Organization says the virus is unfolding in one big wave with no evidence it is affected by changes in seasons. It also predicts the pandemic is likely to go on for a long time.
Can lockdowns work this time? And what will the fallout be?
17:35 GMT – US: CDC reports 58,947 new coronavirus cases
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 58,947 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of infections to 4,601,526 cases. It said the number of deaths rose by 1,132 to 154,002.
16:30 GMT – Philippines to reimpose stricter coronavirus lockdown measures in and around capital
The Philippines has announced that it will reimpose a stricter lockdown in and around its capital for two weeks from midnight of August 4, as the country struggles to contain coronavirus infections that have jumped to more than 100,000 cases.
President Rodrigo Duterte has approved placing Metro Manila and nearby provinces such as Laguna, Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan under so-called “Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine” until August 18, his spokesman Harry Roque told reporters.
The move followed a call on Saturday by 80 local groups representing 80,000 doctors and a million nurses for tighter controls saying the Philippines was losing the fight against the coronavirus and warning of a collapse in the healthcare system from soaring infections.
15:35 GMT – Iran reports highest daily coronavirus cases in nearly a month
Iran has reported its highest single-day novel coronavirus infection count in nearly a month, warning that most of its provinces have been hit by a resurgence of the disease.
The Islamic republic has been battling the Middle East’s deadliest outbreak of COVID-19 since late February.
After a lull in deaths and infections from April to May, it now appears that the provinces first hit, including the holy city of Qom, are back in the same place as figures have been on the rise.
Health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said that 2,685 more people had tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, the country’s highest single-day count since July 8.
This raises total cases identified since late February to 309,437, she added. Another 208 people also died during the same period, bringing the overall toll to 17,190.
15:10 GMT – White House says not optimistic on near-term deal for coronavirus relief bill
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said he was not optimistic on reaching agreement soon on a deal for the next round of legislation to provide relief to Americans hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m not optimistic that there will be a solution in the very near term,” Meadows said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” as staff members from both sides were meeting to try to iron out differences on the bill
14:45 GMT – Dozens of police injured in Berlin protests against virus restrictions
Some 45 police officers were injured in a wave of weekend demonstrations in Berlin including protests against coronavirus restrictions, police said as protesters gathered again in smaller numbers on Sunday.
The unruly protests, in which many demonstrators failed to wear masks or respect social distancing rules, have sparked a chorus of condemnation including calls for tougher penalties against those who violate restrictions aimed at curbing transmission of the deadly virus.
A total of 133 people were arrested during Saturday’s protests, which included a huge “day of freedom” demo against coronavirus restrictions, police said in a statement on Sunday.
The arrests were for offences including resisting police officers, breach of the peace and the use of unconstitutional symbols. Three officers required hospital treatment, police said.
14:15 GMT – South Africa coronavirus cases surpass 500,000
South Africa’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 have crossed half a million, its health ministry has announced, while cases in Africa as a whole approached a million.
Africa’s most industrialised nation recorded 10,107 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, pushing the total to 503,290, the ministry said.
Slightly more than three million people have so far been tested for the virus in South Africa, which confirmed its first case five months ago, and 8,153 deaths have been recorded.
Read more here.
14:00 GMT – Flights between Turkey, Iraq suspended over coronavirus
Flights between Turkey and Iraq have been suspended because of rising coronavirus infections in Turkey, Iraq’s Aviation Authority has announced.
Iraq reopened Baghdad and southern airports last week for international travel after months of closure caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
13:50 GMT – Pelosi says she has no confidence in White House coronavirus adviser Birx
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she does not have confidence in White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, linking her to disinformation about the virus spread by President Donald Trump.
“I think the president has been spreading disinformation about the virus and she is his appointee so, I don’t have confidence there, no,” Speaker Pelosi told ABC’s “This Week” when asked is she has confidence in Birx.
Hello, this is Ramy Allahoum in Doha taking over from my colleague Umut Uras.
12:50 GMT – Amitabh Bachchan leaves hospital after virus treatment
Infamous Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan has tested negative for coronavirus and has left the hospital, according to a tweet by his son Abhishek.
“My father, thankfully, has tested negative on his latest COVID-19 test and has been discharged from the hospital. He will now be at home and rest. Thank you all for all your prayers and wishes for him,” Abhishek Bachchan tweeted.
Amitabh Bachchan was admitted to Nanavati hospital after he tested positive for coronavirus on July 11.
12:20 GMT – Vietnam health ministry: COVID-19 infections rise to 620
Vietnam reported 34 new novel coronavirus infections on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases in the Southeast Asian country to 620.
The country’s COVID-19 death toll rose by two on Sunday to five, the health ministry said in a statement.
11:45 GMT – India’s interior minister tests positive for coronavirus, hospitalised
India’s Interior Minister Amit Shah said that he had tested positive for coronavirus and had been admitted to hospital.
Amit Shah, a close aide to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and one of the country’s most powerful politicians, heads a key ministry that has been at the forefront of managing India’s coronavirus outbreak.
“I request all of you who came in contact with me in the last few days to isolate yourselves and get tested,” Shah said in a tweet.
11:10 GMT – Switzerland should tighten coronavirus restrictions: govt adviser
Switzerland should tighten restrictions to curb the coronavirus again following a recent spike in cases, in order to prevent the need for much harsher lockdown measures in future, the new head of the country’s coronavirus taskforce said.
Switzerland has seen the number of new cases of COVID-19 surge to more than 200 a day recently after an average of 35 per day in June.
Martin Ackermann, who heads the body that provides scientific advice to the Swiss government, said the country was on the brink of a big increase in infections and had little room to manoeuvre.
“We should intervene early to prevent exponential growth,” Ackermann told newspaper SonntagsZeitung. “Otherwise there’s a risk of drastic and expensive restrictions. This must be prevented under all circumstances.”
10:30 GMT – Brazil reports 45,392 new coronavirus cases
Brazil recorded 45,392 additional confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus as well as 1,088 deaths from the disease caused by the virus in the past 24 hours, its health ministry said.
Brazil has registered more than 2.7 million cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 93,563, according to ministry data.
10:00 GMT – Vietnam reports four new COVID-19 cases
Vietnam’s health ministry reported four new coronavirus cases, including two locally transmitted and two imported cases.
The Southeast Asian country has registered a total of 590 cases, of which 144 infections are linked to the recent outbreak in the costal city of Danang. Vietnam has recorded three deaths, the health ministry said in a statement.
09:30 GMT – China sends team to Hong Kong for widespread testing
Seven Chinese health officials were due to arrive in Hong Kong on Sunday, the first members of a 60-person team that will carry out widespread testing for COVID-19 in the territory as the global financial hub races to halt a third wave of illness.
China’s National Health Commission on Saturday announced their scheduled arrival.
Members of the team are from public hospitals in Guangdong province while a specialist team of six from Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus first appeared, will help prepare part of the AsiaWorld Expo convention centre as a facility for COVID-19 patients.
The initiative is the first time mainland health officials have assisted Hong Kong in its battle to control the coronavirus.
08:45 GMT – Philippines’ confirmed coronavirus cases exceed 100,000
The Philippines reported 5,032 additional coronavirus infections, its largest single-day increase on record, taking the country’s confirmed cases to 103,185.
In a bulletin, the Department of Health also said the Southeast Asian country’s coronavirus death toll had jumped by 20 to 2,059.
President Rodrigo Duterte was scheduled to meet key cabinet members on Sunday to discuss a call by medical frontliners’ groups to put the capital, Manila, which accounts for the bulk of infections, back under a stricter lockdown, his spokesman said.
08:15 GMT – Russia’s coronavirus cases surpass 850,000
Russia reported 5,427 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing its nationwide tally to 850,870, the fourth-largest caseload in the world.
Russia’s coronavirus taskforce said 70 people had died over the last 24 hours, pushing the official death toll in the country of around 145 million people to 14,128.
07:50 GMT – Indonesia reports 1,519 new coronavirus infections, 43 deaths
Indonesia reported 1,519 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, bringing the total to 111,455, data from the country’s COVID-19 task force showed.
The data also showed 43 new COVID-19 related deaths, bringing the toll to 5,236.
07:20 GMT – Tokyo confirms 292 new coronavirus cases on Sunday – NHK
Tokyo confirmed 292 new coronavirus infections, after cases rose by more than 400 in the past two days, public broadcaster NHK said.
Governor Koike Yuriko said on Friday Tokyo could declare a state of emergency if the coronavirus situation in the Japanese capital deteriorates further, as debate deepened over how to respond to record increases in new infections.
07:00 GMT – Mexico registers record 9,556 new daily cases
Mexico’s health ministry reported a record 9,556 new confirmed cases of coronavirus and 784 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 434,193 cases and 47,472 deaths.
The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.
06:25 GMT – Philippines to update COVID-19 strategy
The Philippines’ health department vowed to update its game plan against COVID-19 within a week and sought to beef up the healthcare workforce in the capital, Manila, where medical frontliners are calling for reviving strict lockdowns.
The Southeast Asian country on Saturday reported 4,963 additional coronavirus infections, the largest single-day jump on record, bringing its total confirmed cases to 98,232, while its death toll had climbed to 2,039.
It has the second-highest number of coronavirus infections and COVID-19 deaths in the region, behind Indonesia.
In the largest call yet from medical experts to contain the virus, 80 groups representing 80,000 doctors and a million nurses, on Saturday said the Philippines was losing the fight against the disease and warned of a collapse of the healthcare system from soaring infections without tighter controls.
06:00 GMT – India’s cases cross 1.75 million
India’s coronavirus caseload has crossed 1.75 million with another spike of 54,735 in the past 24 hours.
The new cases are down from 57,118 on Saturday. The health ministry on Sunday also reported 853 deaths for a total of 37,364.
The month of July alone has accounted for more than 1.1 million cases in India. Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said the case fatality rate was progressively reducing and currently stands at 2.18 percent, one of the lowest globally.
05:30 GMT – Australia’s Victoria imposes curfew to contain COVID-19
A state of disaster was declared in Australia’s Victoria, with the local government implementing a night curfew as part of its harshest movement restrictions to date to contain the coronavirus.
State Premier Daniel Andrews said that the new restrictions, to be in place for six weeks until mid-September, will allow only one person per household to go shopping once a day. Melbournians will not be able to go further than five kilometres (three miles) from home.
Hello, this is Umut Uras in Doha taking over from my colleague Ted Regencia.
04:52 GMT – Australia’s Victoria declares state disaster over coronavirus
Australia’s state of Victoria has declared a state of disaster on Sunday, and announced a lockdown following a surge in the number of coronavirus cases.
A curfew has been issued in the city of Melbourne beginning at 8pm on Sunday night.
Residents of Melbourne are also ordered not to travel beyond five kilometres (3.1 miles) from their residence.
04:33 GMT – Tokyo reports record 472 new cases
Tokyo reported a record 472 new cases of the coronavirus, NHK reported on Sunday.
The daily tally in the Japanese capital topped 400 for the second day in a row as of the end of Saturday. That puts the total number of infections in Tokyo to more than 13,000.
Tokyo officials say the increase may be due to outings during a four-day holiday last month.
Nationwide, more than 1,500 new infections were reported as of the end of Saturday.
The latest Johns Hopkins University tally on Sunday showed a total of 37,780 cases and just over 1,000 deaths.
04:03 GMT – Austrian foreign office staffer tests positive of coronavirus
Authorities have announced that an employee at the Austrian chancellery has tested positive for the coronavirus, but did not work directly with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, according to AP news agency.
The Austria Press Agency reported the chancellery says people who were in contact with the employee have tested negative and the office’s work was not affected by the support worker’s infection. Kurz is tested regularly for the virus.
Austria’s handling of the pandemic has generally been viewed as relatively successful. The country recently toughened rules on wearing masks after an increase in new infections.
Austria has 718 confirmed deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
03:47 GMT – South Korea reports 22 new imported cases, eight local infections
South Korea reported 30 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, with 22 of them imported cases and eight local cases, marking the second day in a row that local infections have increased by a single-digit figure, according to Yonhap news agency.
The new cases raised South Korea’s total cases of COVID-19 to 14,366, while the nation’s death toll remained at 301, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
The number of new cases has been in the 30s since Friday when South Korea reported 36 new virus cases. The number fell to 31 on Saturday.
03:25 GMT – France starts testing passengers from 16 countries at airports, ports
Travellers entering France from 16 countries where the coronavirus is circulating widely must have virus tests upon arrival at French airports and ports, the AP news agency reported.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced last month the tests would be required starting on Saturday for the arriving passengers, unless they present proof of a negative test within 72 hours of their departure.
Those who test positive in France must quarantine for 14 days.
France is not permitting general travel to and from the 16 countries, which include the hotspots of the United States and Brazil.
02:49 GMT – Manila’s Catholic leader orders shutdown of church activities, mass gatherings
The head of Manila’s Catholic Church has ordered the suspension of all public activities and other mass gatherings for the next 10 days, as part of the effort to help curb the spread of the coronavirus in the Philippine capital.
“As a response to the call of our medical people, all the churches and shrines in the Archdiocese of Manila will revert to the period of ECQ protocols,” Bishop Broderick Pabillo, the head of the Archdiocese of Manila said, in reference to the previous strict lockdown procedures imposed in Manila.
“We will not hold public religious activities from August 3 to 14 but we continue our online activities,” he added in the statement issued late on Saturday. Pabillo had earlier tested positive for the virus.
The Philippines’ more than 100 million population is predominantly Catholic. The head of the Manila church is seen as the most influential figure in the Catholic hierarchy in the country.
The Philippines has reported more than 98,000 cases and at least 2,000 deaths as of Saturday.
02:05 GMT – Australia’s Victoria sees more than 650 new coronavirus cases
Australia’s state of Victoria reported more than 650 infections of the new coronavirus on Sunday, up from 397 cases the previous day, Reuters news was cited on ABC News television.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews is to announce the official number of cases later on Sunday, together with a set of new measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
01:40 GMT – Mainland China reports 49 new coronavirus cases, including 30 in Xinjiang
China has reported 49 cases of the new coronavirus on the mainland as of the end of August 1, up from 45 cases a day earlier, Reuters news agency reported on Sunday, quoting the health commission.
Of the new infections, 30 were in the far western region of Xinjiang, three were in the northeastern province of Liaoning, and the remaining 16 were imported cases, according to a statement by the National Health Commission.
China reported 20 new asymptomatic cases, down from 23 a day earlier. As of the end of Saturday, mainland China had 84,385 confirmed coronavirus cases, the health authority said. The COVID-19 death toll remained at 4,634.
01:30 GMT – Italy’s daily COVID-19 infections dip under 300
Italy’s daily coronavirus infections have dipped under 300 cases for the first time in three days, after a recent flurry of clusters throughout the nation raised concern among health experts, according to AP news agency.
The health ministry says Italy registered 295 cases in the last 24 hours, raising the total to 247,832.
The ministry’s weekly report says there were 123 clusters of infection throughout Italy in the previous seven days.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Roberto Speranza ordered the railways to resume leaving empty seats so passengers can be at least one metre (3.3 feet) apart during summer travel.
With five more deaths, the total confirmed deaths in Italy reached more than 35,000 as of the end of Saturday.
01:04 GMT – Mexico reports new daily record of more than 9,500 coronavirus cases
Mexico has racked up a record number of new confirmed coronavirus infections, registering more than 9,000 daily cases for the first time and passing the previous peak for the second day running, Reuters news agency reported on Sunday, quoting official data.
Mexico’s health ministry reported 9,556 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, surging past the record of 8,458 set on Friday. The ministry also logged 784 additional fatalities, bringing the total tally in the country to 434,193 cases and 47,472 deaths.
The new record in cases came a day after Mexico overtook Britain as the country with the third-highest number of deaths caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Mexico has struggled to contain the virus, and has since late May been trying to restart the economy, which in the April-June period contracted by more than 17 percent quarter-on-quarter.
00:47 GMT – High-ranking US Congress member tests positive for coronavirus
Congressman Raul Grijalva, a high-ranking member of the US Congress from the state of Arizona has announced that he has the coronavirus.
The Democrat says he tested positive for the coronavirus days after he sat close to another member, Texas Rep Louie Gohmert, who announced a positive test this week.
The 72-year-old Grivalva is at least the 11th member of Congress known to have tested positive for the virus.
Gohmert, a Republican, has questioned the use of masks and often walked around the Capitol without one.
00:30 GMT – Greece confirms 110 new coronavirus cases
Greek authorities say there were 110 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the fourth-highest daily figure and highest since April, according to AP news agency.
Authorities say 23 of the cases concerned employees at a meat processing factory in the northern city of Kavala. Tests on all 140 employees are still ongoing. Another 10 cases involved people who attended a wedding in the northern city of Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest.
Only nine of the cases involved incoming travelers.
Greece has 4,587 total confirmed cases and 206 deaths, with no deaths reported as of the end of Saturday.
00:05 GMT – Vietnam reports four new COVID-19 cases; two are imported
Vietnam’s health ministry has reported four new coronavirus cases, including two locally transmitted and two imported cases, according to Reuters News Agency.
The Southeast Asian country has registered a total of 590 cases, of which 144 infections are linked to the recent outbreak in the coastal city of Danang. Vietnam has recorded three deaths, the health ministry said in a statement.
00:01 GMT – Thousands demand Netanyahu resignation as Israel PM
Thousands of demonstrators have gathered outside the official residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and thronged the streets of central Jerusalem, as weeks of protests against the Israeli leader appeared to be gaining steam.
The demonstration in central Jerusalem, along with smaller gatherings in Tel Aviv, near Netanyahu’s beach house in central Israel and at dozens of busy intersections nationwide, was one of the largest turnouts in weeks of protests.
Israeli media estimated at least 10,000 people demonstrated near the official residence in central Jerusalem.
Late on Saturday, thousands marched through the streets in a noisy but orderly rally. Demonstrators hoisted Israeli flags and blew loud horns as they marched. Many held posters that said “Crime Minister” and “Bibi Go Home” or accused Netanyahu of being out of touch with the public.
For months, thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets, calling for Netanyahu to resign, protesting against his handling of the country’s coronavirus crisis and saying he should not remain in office while on trial for corruption charges. Though Netanyahu has tried to play down the protests, the twice-a-week gatherings show no signs of slowing.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
For all the key coronavirus-related developments from yesterday, August 1st, click here.